Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Pathfinder Unchained (OGL)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Pathfinder Unchained (OGL)
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Get ready to shake up your game! Within these pages, the designers of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game unleash their wildest ideas, and nothing is safe. From totally revised fundamentals like core classes and monster design to brand-new systems for expanding the way you play, this book offers fresh ideas while still blending with the existing system. With Pathfinder Unchained, you become the game designer!

Pathfinder Unchained is an indispensable companion to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 15 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

Pathfinder Unchained includes:

  • New versions of the barbarian, monk, rogue, and summoner classes, all revised to make them more balanced and easier to play.
  • New skill options for both those who want more skills to fill out their characters' backgrounds and those seeking streamlined systems for speed and simplicity.
  • Changes to how combat works, from a revised action system to an exhaustive list of combat tricks that draw upon your character's stamina.
  • Magic items that power up with you throughout your career—and ways to maintain variety while still letting players choose the "best" magic items.
  • Simplified monster creation rules for making new creatures on the fly.
  • Exotic material components ready to supercharge your spellcasting.
  • New takes on alignment, multiclassing, iterative attacks, wounds, diseases and poisons, and item creation.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-715-4

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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4.60/5 (based on 15 ratings)

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Some of the suggested mechanics are worth the entire price

5/5

Automatic Bonus Progression is enough to justify the entire price of the book. Better versions of the Rogue and Monk, as well as fixes to the summoner and streamlining the barabarian seal the deal. There is a lot of other good stuff in here as well. Well worth it!


Upgraded Mechanics!

5/5

I love the idea of this book, I wish this happened more often. They took what they saw wrong with their game and spent proper time and effort to come up with proper solutions. It's pretty rare for a company to spend this much effort on tweaking things. The new proposed mechanics for combat and skills are unique and great ideas to help customize your groups' gaming experience.
I hope they release more books like this in the future. I've love for more variations for multiclassing, and I'm still waiting for a summoner archetype that removes the class summon monster ability and focuses more on the eidolon.
Highly recommend it, especially for anyone interested in how someone goes about making a gaming system. It provides awesome insights.


Fantastic product

5/5

It's been a while since it took me so long to digest a Pathfinder book, and boy, did Unchained ever keep me digesting. More optional rules than you can shake a stick at, to be implemented in modular or wholesale fashion, to tweak your game to your heart's content, and with top-notch art throughout, to boot. Excellent work by Paizo and one of their finest offerings in a while.

As for the negatives, the only thing I can really point out is that the writing can be somewhat scattershot and unfocused in a couple of reasonably complex sections, which would have benefited greatly from examples or bolded formulae.


Love The Options

5/5

This book is a great addition. Options are optional, and it's great that this book has so many. It really makes customizing a campaign easy. Of you'll like you never use every option, or likely even half of them in a single you play or run, but having them really gives you a great toolbox to use. Some people are finicky about house rules, so having an official batch of "house rules" to choose from is nice for people who prefer to stick to official products. No book is perfect, but being this book isn't really being forced on anyone (of course I suppose none of the supplements are), and that is a giant bag of options that you can pick and choose from to enhance the game, for those who'd like it enhanced, I give this product 5 stars, especially if I am comparing it to the usefulness of the average Pathfinder product.


Great Options for Pathfinder

5/5

I'm a huge fan of the rules options in Pathfinder Unchained. They do a great job of creating fixes to some of the potential issues with the Pathfinder system without upsetting the entire rule system.

I'm one of those weird people who loved playing my TWF core rogue through all 11 levels of PFS, but I have to admit that the unchained rogue is an improvement. I also actually prefer the unchained summoner to the base summoner; even though the new one may seem less powerful, it's more thematically appropriate. I'm considering playing a summoner for the first time.

I've been using some of the alternate rules systems in my Hell's Rebels campaign, and I like how they are working out. I'm using automatic bonus progression at least in part because I know some of my players like to ignore the Big 6, or spend all their gold on +6 stat items as soon as possible to the exclusion of other items. This way I know their AC is still going up, and they'll end up more balanced. I can now also let them craft---using the much more engaging dynamic item creation rules---without worrying too much about wealth by level.

Some of the rules I wouldn't personally implement. I feel like alignment affirmations will just lead to alignment arguments at the table, and in my experience, multiclassers don't need the boost from partial base attack bonus increases. But I am glad that these options exist for tables that want them.


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I know everyone fears a new edition, but what about a revised Core Rulebook down the road. Most of the hardcovers have a lot of options that plug into the system. With this book it seems there are classes being revamped and rules written that will make the game better(or they wouldn't be writing it). All the classes, archtypes, feats,spells from other books would still plug into the system or else we wouldnt be able to do that stuff with Unleashed. I for one would like to have the new revamped classes in my main book along with any rules in combat or feats or whatever that fit into what would be in a core book. Of course there's probably a lot of stuff that should stay as an option, can't have 256 pages of revamping. Not sure if this was right spot to post, sorry if it wasn't. Just a thought.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

How about a hardcover book that reprints every class Pathfinder has done and make corrections or give alternate options for the classes. Also maybe this book could add a class or two as well.


Gebby wrote:
I know everyone fears a new edition, but what about a revised Core Rulebook down the road. Most of the hardcovers have a lot of options that plug into the system. With this book it seems there are classes being revamped and rules written that will make the game better(or they wouldn't be writing it). All the classes, archtypes, feats,spells from other books would still plug into the system or else we wouldnt be able to do that stuff with Unleashed. I for one would like to have the new revamped classes in my main book along with any rules in combat or feats or whatever that fit into what would be in a core book. Of course there's probably a lot of stuff that should stay as an option, can't have 256 pages of revamping. Not sure if this was right spot to post, sorry if it wasn't. Just a thought.

I would agree with this. Say in two years after Unchained has come out and people [hypothetically] agree all the revamp classes are better, do a CRB update with the UC monk/rogue/barbarian and other updates etc in it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gebby wrote:
I know everyone fears a new edition

I don't.

Mythraine wrote:
I would agree with this. Say in two years after Unchained has come out and people [hypothetically] agree all the revamp classes are better, do a CRB update with the UC monk/rogue/barbarian and other updates etc in it.

So, basically a new edition.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

No, not basically a new edition. Its not like your going from 2nd to 3rd or 3 to 4, changing a few classes and few rules doesn't change the edition. When a new class or archtype comes out does it mean 'oh my god, we got a new edition'. Are u saying with Pathfinder Unchained we have a new edition. Can you use books without any issue at all, books produced before and call it a new edition. I figured someone would post like that.


Even when they do a completely revised crb, I wouldn't expect massive changes the way that WotC seems to think they have to happen. I would expect to see different/revised core races and classes, with a few alternate racial abilities and archetypes, and a handful of major changes to the rules with everything else being mostly tweaks and clarifications, though I would love to see a major change to how those rules are laid out and presented, especially the magic and spells to make it clearer what can be done to counter any given spell or tactic. PF Unchained seems to reinforce those expectations as it looks at most commonly complained about classes and systems and how to fix them while still staying largely within the existing framework.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Forgot the 1 thing I REALLY, REALLY WANT!

1) CLERIC LOVE*!!!
a. Capstone ability (definitely needed).
b. Domain abilities in the 14-17 level area (more of a hope).

* I know you all secretly hate clerics...


Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

Forgot the 1 thing I REALLY, REALLY WANT!

1) CLERIC LOVE*!!!
a. Capstone ability (definitely needed).
b. Domain abilities in the 14-17 level area (more of a hope).

* I know you all secretly hate clerics...

I want that too actually. It would be great. Hopefully spellcasting gets adjusted as a whole though.

Spheres of Power is simultaneously kind and cruel to Clerics.


Gebby wrote:
No, not basically a new edition. Its not like your going from 2nd to 3rd or 3 to 4, changing a few classes and few rules doesn't change the edition. When a new class or archtype comes out does it mean 'oh my god, we got a new edition'. Are u saying with Pathfinder Unchained we have a new edition. Can you use books without any issue at all, books produced before and call it a new edition. I figured someone would post like that.

Revised Editions can be different enough to be called/considered 'New Editions' (like DnD 3e to 3.5 to Pathfinder, they are compatible, but it can be an headache).

Hell, an Xth reprint of the CRB could end up looking like that to owners of the first printing...


sunshadow21 wrote:
Even when they do a completely revised crb, I wouldn't expect massive changes the way that WotC seems to think they have to happen. I would expect to see different/revised core races and classes, with a few alternate racial abilities and archetypes, and a handful of major changes to the rules with everything else being mostly tweaks and clarifications, though I would love to see a major change to how those rules are laid out and presented, especially the magic and spells to make it clearer what can be done to counter any given spell or tactic. PF Unchained seems to reinforce those expectations as it looks at most commonly complained about classes and systems and how to fix them while still staying largely within the existing framework.

Paizo know that they can't change/fix (depending on the point of view) many things without a new edition; and that stopping the current edition altogether is a bad idea.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gebby wrote:
No, not basically a new edition. Its not like your going from 2nd to 3rd or 3 to 4, changing a few classes and few rules doesn't change the edition. When a new class or archtype comes out does it mean 'oh my god, we got a new edition'. Are u saying with Pathfinder Unchained we have a new edition. Can you use books without any issue at all, books produced before and call it a new edition. I figured someone would post like that.

Yes, if they produced a CRB with the revised classes, that would be a "revised" edition (or a "new" one, depending on your terminology), by their own definition. The developers have said, multiple times in the past, that they very conciously do not re-design mayor aspects of the existing classes, because it would mess up references to class abilities from other books.

Sorry, but if they do what you want them to, they could just as well go and fix the other many problems people have found with this edition, too.


So let's say the unchained versions are indeed better and everyone now uses these classes compared to the CRB. As long as it doesn't change in the CRB 'everything's OK' even though people are using the new revamped classes we have out, our references still match up perfect to the CRB. Not sure that helps at all but OK.

Silver Crusade

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

Forgot the 1 thing I REALLY, REALLY WANT!

1) CLERIC LOVE*!!!
a. Capstone ability (definitely needed).
b. Domain abilities in the 14-17 level area (more of a hope).

* I know you all secretly hate clerics...

Clerics already have a capstone. It's called "ninth level spells," and it's the most powerful one in the game.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That's not a capstone. Capstones come at 20th level.

Silver Crusade

TriOmegaZero wrote:
That's not a capstone. Capstones come at 20th level.

And full casters are already the most powerful characters in the game by far, and do not need capstone abilities along the lines of the martial characters and half casters.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

As long as you realize that clerics DON'T have a capstone. Regardless of if they need one or not.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Fine then, let's give clerics a capstone:
Filler Capstone (Ex): At 20th level a cleric gains Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Hand Crossbow) as a bonus feat. In addition, whenever the cleric hears someone say the word "capstone", they must immediately make a will save vs DC 30 or yell "I have one of those!" as loud as they can.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Should be a Reflex save, Will is the strong save for clerics. You should also write an alternate capstone for clerics who worship a deity that offers Hand Crossbow proficiency.

Maybe Elephant Stomp?


Yeah, always thought it was weird that Clerics didn't get a Capstone ability.


I find it generally strange that half of cleric levels are dead.

Their channel only increases on uneven numbered levels, when they also get new spell levels, while on even numbers they get nothing.
... then again wizards also have plenty of dead levelage.

For some reason I had it in my head that dead levels only exist for NPC classes anymore.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

More spells count as non-dead levels.


Personally I think the Cleric's capstone ability should have been that there channeling damage/healing should have been maximized.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Don't the domains offer some kind of abilities at 20th level? I don't remember, so I'm really asking.

Also: am I the only one who was kind of hoping the "unchained iconics" would be gender-swamped? That way the "iconic unchainded monk" could be Sajan's sister.


Threeshades wrote:

I find it generally strange that half of cleric levels are dead.

Their channel only increases on uneven numbered levels, when they also get new spell levels, while on even numbers they get nothing.
... then again wizards also have plenty of dead levelage.

For some reason I had it in my head that dead levels only exist for NPC classes anymore.

More spells per day isn't exactly dead levels, but many prepared casters do suffer from a certain "new or improved class feature show up on the same levels they gain new spell level" thing

Nate Z wrote:

Don't the domains offer some kind of abilities at 20th level? I don't remember, so I'm really asking.

Also: am I the only one who was kind of hoping the "unchained iconics" would be gender-swamped? That way the "iconic unchainded monk" could be Sajan's sister.

Cleric domains don't offer much pass Level 10 and don't have a capstone.

They aren't considered alternate classes, but more of a redisign, I wouldn't expect new iconics, but them having some changes in their design isn't impossible.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Still no info on fast play.

Evil Lincoln sad.

...capstone abilities would be a waste of ink. I've never seen one in play.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
...capstone abilities would be a waste of ink. I've never seen one in play.

Me either. We should fix that someday.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, but not with mythic, you two weirdos. ^^

Shadow Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Mythic is like having a capstone at every level...

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Removed a post and reply to it. Don't be rude and jump to very negative conclusions about a person's play history based on their hopes for this book.

Liberty's Edge

Though my post is probably moot, considering the book has already been shipped to the printers, here are a few things I wouldn't mind seeing:

1) Revamped Summoner spell list.
2) Fighter-types being the only ones to get multiple attacks from BAB.

Well, I guess that's it really. The other changes I'd like to see really wouldn't be applicable to this book.


HangarFlying wrote:

Though my post is probably moot, considering the book has already been shipped to the printers, here are a few things I wouldn't mind seeing:

1) Revamped Summoner spell list.
2) Fighter-types being the only ones to get multiple attacks from BAB.

Well, I guess that's it really. The other changes I'd like to see really wouldn't be applicable to this book.

#1 is pretty much a given considered Summoner is one of the classes that got remade/redesigned.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Product image and description updated to final.

Contributor

Liz Courts wrote:
Product image and description updated to final.

I don't suppose that you could steal February and March from the calendar so we'd skip straight to April, could you?


Hopes:
BAB rewritten so that the benefits of power attack, combat expertise, deadly aim, ect are just part of the system.

Also removal of them as pre-reqs.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Alexander Augunas wrote:
I don't suppose that you could steal February and March from the calendar so we'd skip straight to April, could you?

Absolutely not. I need those months.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Me too. One of them has my birthday!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Me too. One of them has my birthday!

If you steal the month of your birth, do you get any older?


I hope there is an option for rouges to get the swashbuckler's extra precision damage based on there level.

I can't for the options on skills.


Quote:
Magic items that power up with you throughout your career—and ways to maintain variety while still letting players choose the “best” magic items.

I hope they did that with some Feats too.

Quote:
New takes on alignment

Why am I not surprised by that one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

New take on multiclassing eh? Color me interested.

Dark Archive

christos gurd wrote:
New take on multiclassing eh? Color me interested.

Yeah, that caught my eye. I haven't seen anything since Unearthed Arcana's Fractional BAB, Fractional Saves and Magic Rating notions that really did much for multiclassing. I think some of those ideas are Open License, as well...

It would indeed be interesting to see some sort of multiclassing support that would allow one to have a few levels of Monk, a few levels of Rogue and a few levels of Shadowdancer or Assassin, without having a BAB crying on the floor, and Ref saves artificially high, or a spellcaster / spellcaster multiclass that doesn't have super-low CL compared to his single class allies, in addition to lower level spells.

New rules for iterative attacks (baked in Vital Strike?, full attack numbers but no bonus damage on iteratives? who knows!) and poisons / diseases intrigues me. Poisons, in particular, have always seemed a bit gamist. (The longest poisons in the game lasts 48 seconds? I kind of prefer a Mutants & Masterminds homebrew idea I saw, in which the recurring damage from poisons used the games time progression table, so that the first repeat damage might be 1 turn later, and the second could be 1 minute later, then 10 minutes later, then an hour later and possibly having effects days later, if it goes untreated!)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Also want to point out legacy wepons making a triumphant return.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Can't wait for this book, and I'm very curious to see what they did for the skills section.

I've been doing 25 point buy, feat every odd level, ability point every even level, new retroactive skill point every four levels since pathfinder came out for my games. The skill points / extra ability points was something proposed back in beta. Personally, I've found that setup to work extremely well. Players actually tend to spread out ability points and pick up craft/knowledge/preform/profession skills, giving their characters much more depth.

On the monster side, it just means that I can on the fly add a few skills here and there, and advanced monsters get extra ability points at the same rate. Otherwise no change, and truth be told more than half the time I don't even bother to modify them at all. Its more of a "Oh this guy survived and had/has some good rp potential, lets tweak things a little a bring him back around at some point." which again has worked out very well.

Starting with item creation feats has always been a bit clunky, though Paizo's suggestion of extra gp worth of starting gear for mid to higher level characters with item creation feats has eased this greatly. Currently going with 1-2 items creation feats = 20% extra gear, 3+ = 50%, with the extra gear being limited to items that are made via that character's chosen item creation feats.

I do feel that rogue is still viable, but underpowered in comparison to investigator/slayer. So I really hope to see some good changes there.

All in all if everything goes really well, I'd like to see additional unchained books over the next few years. Is there any chance we might start seeing paizo blog previews within the next month or so?


christos gurd wrote:
Also want to point out legacy wepons making a triumphant return.

I was a big fan of these back before the wizards/paizo split, and they already have somewhat via the mythic rules. Seeing someone combine those two might make things really nasty. Of course that just means they have that much more of an Achilles heel if its ever stolen/temporarily dispelled/disarmed/or even destroyed.


Do you mean that at every 4 levels then get an extra skill point per character level?

I would love to get more stat/ability points per level especially in a low magic and/or low money campaign.


Really looking forward to seeing the new monster creation rules. I just sort of look at the Bestiary table now, but would love some extra tools to round that out.

I'm also quite optimistic about the revamped barbarian. It sounded (at GenCon last year), like they were considering rage with less paperwork, which would add another class to the "great for new players" pile.

There's some stuff I seriously doubt I'll use, like the new spell components. But there are lots of things addressed I've been tempted to houserule, so I'll be picking this over with interest.

Liz Courts wrote:
Product image and description updated to final.

All the revamped classes being on the cover is a nice touch. Good job whoever requested that art.

Cheers!
Landon

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Alex G St-Amand wrote:


Nate Z wrote:

Don't the domains offer some kind of abilities at 20th level? I don't remember, so I'm really asking.

Cleric domains don't offer much pass Level 10 and don't have a capstone.

The elemental domains (water, fire, air, earth) transform your elemental resistance into elemental immunity at level 20.

As for another poster's,"clerics don't get anything on even levels," most cleric domains improve on even levels, though only to a somewhat limited degree (most of them get a single boost at 8th level). That said, most cleric domains also improve in a level-based fashion (even many 1st level granted abilities become more powerful at higher levels by improving bonuses granted, etc.). I think these factors often get forgotten when considering what a cleric gains as they level.

That said, I'd love to see domains reworked slightly so they advance more uniformly and, indeed, give every cleric something cool at 20th (even if it is something simple like "fire resistance becomes fire immunity").


Dragon78 wrote:

Do you mean that at every 4 levels then get an extra skill point per character level?

I would love to get more stat/ability points per level especially in a low magic and/or low money campaign.

Yep

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